Thompson Travel Holidays Blog
Update on 24 March 2020
Stay at Home. Stay Safe. Take care.
Further to the announcement from Government yesterday all our staff are set up and working from home.
So, what are we doing?
1 Getting our Customers Home
Thankfully, as of today, we have all our customers safely home from trips all over the world. Airlines are still flying to repatriate people and do the best they can in present circumstances.
2 Dealing with Travellers due to travel up to 20 April.
20 April is the date we have set in line with Boris's announcement yesterday. We have lots of customers affected and every operator and airline have their own instructions, so please bear with us. The member of staff who made your booking will be in touch with you, in date order. We can only advise you what we know in these exceptional circumstances.
Do not lose money - postpone, don't cancel unless you have no choice.
There is no financial failure from suppliers, airlines or us. These changes have been imposed by this dreadful virus and Government, so please be assured that your monies are protected through change dates, credits or ultimately refunds, if applicable.
3 Clients Travelling after 20 April where Operators and Airlines are allowing changes.
We will be in touch with you if you have booked a holiday to travel after 20 April and can make changes without penalty. We will advise you if this is relevant to your booking.
4 Clients travelling after 20 April where we have no further information on your travel.
We will be in touch with you when we know anything more about your trip. Please don't call our office until we call you as we have no further information on your trip. Our phones are busy, and we must prioritise.
If you decide to cancel your trip outside any information we have been provided, you will forfeit any deposits or monies you have paid. This is not our rule but the normal booking conditions of the operator. Wait until we get in touch, as most operators have been able to change travel dates, offer credits if you stick with the advice you have been given.
We will be in touch if we manage to extend your balance due date.
We are persuing any refunds due to you, where this is possible.
6 Balances due
We will be in touch with you if your holiday balance is due.
7 Our Staff
Please be patient with our staff. They are all dealing with a very new, worldwide situation, even in our industry. Every operator we deal with (over 200) have their own re-booking policies and our team are acting for you, within the means they can. Every one of them have their own personal fears but they are committed to providing the best options for you.
8 Our customers
Every single customer is important to us, whether you are on a city break or a worldwide trip. We have booked your holidays for over 25 years and will be doing everything within the guidelines given to us to protect your trip, retain your business and hopefully look after you for the next 25 years.
9 The Future
I don't know it, but I believe we have one. We are not used to working from home, being told we can't go out and in an instant all our lives have changed. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and I look forward to all my team returning to our office as soon as possible.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR E-MAILS. MOST OF OUR INITIAL CORRESPONDENCE IS TO THE E-MAIL ADDRESS YOU HAVE PROVIDED.
Our staff are all working from home. If you know the member of staff who made your booking you can contact them on: -
Right now, keep safe. Stay at home and take time to think of the fantastic holidays that lie ahead, and you worked so hard for.
I finally made the decision to allow my staff to work from home from today 20 March 2020 until further notice (hopefully not too long). They have small kids, vulnerable relatives and I cannot be responsible for one of them getting ill, because I didn't act responsibly. I appreciate not everyone can run their business from home.
We are at the heart of all the info that comes in regarding the affect COVID-19 has on travel right now. We know nothing more than anyone else about how long it will affect us, but please, try your bit to control it. Stay at home if you can.
Through all of this we are still looking after our customers. Each member of staff has their own client files home. They are dealing with clients trying to get home. Remember borders may be closed to non-essential travellers, but people work abroad too. We have had clients in the middle of cruises, on land-based tours, working in remote places that have all had to cut their trips short as Governments simultaneously closed borders, some with very little notice. These people are a priority, but airlines are still flying where they can or have to.
Secondly, we must deal with those who are due to travel within the 30-day limits. We are taking each booking individually and calling you to let you know your options, so I promise you, you are on our list.
Next, we are dealing with those have imminent balance due dates. You will receive a letter or email from us today or in next few days, in most cases, giving you an extension on your payment date as a gesture from us to stop you worrying, and/or so we can have time to see if you holiday is affected. As we are working from home, when you get that letter please read it as it has been written based on the operator you are travelling with. In 95% of cases there is nothing to worry about, so you just have an extension to pay.
Everyone due to travel outside the above will be contacted in date order as any information changes or balances are due.
If you are part of a group travelling within the 30-day period, you will know we have already sorted your trip or have sent you details of what to do. Group leaders of trips outside this have been contacted.
PLEASE WAIT UNTIL YOU GET INITIAL ADVICE FROM US TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO. YOU WILL HAVE A CONTACT E-MAIL and mobile number on that too. Email is the best contact as phones are so busy.
The majority of airlines are allowing changes up to certain departure dates. Cruise companies have various policies and other holiday providers too. The CAA relaxed their rules to allow operators to change holidays and if ultimately a refund is due, the date will be advised. When this is all over, everyone will want a holiday. Plan to change during these periods, not cancel and protect your money. Remember that as soon as we change your holiday, you will receive a new ATOL certificate to re-protect your holiday. This gives you protection in event of financial failure.
All the above info is based on what I know today. It could change tomorrow and if it does, I will let you know.
Please be assured we will still be operating normal working hours Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm but will close until 18 April on Saturdays.
We have booked your holidays for over 25 years and never had a worldwide issue like this. We will continue to look after our customers the best we can and in the guidelines given to us.
Be safe. Be responsible. Look after your family. Take advice and self-isolate if you can. My daughter is a respiratory nurse, my son has had pneumonia, so I have to think of their health too in my decisions.
We are also now getting enquiries from customers looking forward to their Hallowe'en, Christmas, winter sun, Easter and Summer Sun holidays, long-haul trips and cruises. Don't miss out on something to look forward too.